Destination: Central Table Food Hall (23 South Euclid Avenue; 314-932-5595)
Neighborhood: Central West End
Cuisine: New American
Overview: The ambitious, 10,000-square-foot Central Table Food Hall prides itself on its all encompassing menu, showcasing everything from Italian to Asian cuisine. That variety is what attracted head chef Nick Martinkovich to the new restaurant and grocery in the Central West End. It poses no restrictions on his culinary interests, allowing him to cater to everyone -- including vegetarians.
See also: - Guacamole Bites at Three Monkeys: A Tasty, Veggie Friendly Take on Crab Rangoon - Flying Saucer Leaves Veggie Critic Beaming - Vegetarian Options Abound at Remy's Kitchen & Wine Bar in Clayton
Veggie Highlights: Say the word pâté and most people think of a meat and fat concoction, such as foie gras or Spam (if viewed unfavorably). Central Table's pâté is neither. It's made from sunflower seeds that Martinkovich garnishes with radishes, sunflower sprouts and olives. The result is a bold and bright dish that's entirely meat-free and tasty.
The restaurant's stuffed peppers ($12) dish consists of three red piquillo peppers, stuffed with chive, goat cheese and almonds, and adorned with avocado. The different flavors blend nicely together to provide a delectable dish for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
Other veggie options at Central Table include a vegetable pizza ($13) with pesto, zucchini, squash and arugula; and the popular beet salad ($9), garnished with crème fraîche, caraway and egg yolk.
The Veggielante has had it up to here with people bitching that St. Louis restaurants are vegetarian unfriendly. Sure, we'd like to see more restaurants offering more meatless dishes, but there are excellent choices out there if you take the trouble to look for them. We're not here to proselytize about greening up your diet. Our only motive is to spread the word about places where you can order good grub that ain't got no meat. To enhance your reading experience, we've settled on a handful of criteria we'll use to suss out a restaurant's vegetarian friendliness.